Saturday, September 03, 2011
BC Rail stinker follows Bornmann to Ontario
By Michael Smith
The Province - September 3, 2011
Among the many strange stories to emerge from the B.C. Rail scandal, the saga of Erik “Spiderman” Bornmann is one of the wildest of the bunch.
Bornmann is one of the most notorious characters in the B.C. Rail debacle. He was a Liberal party insider and hot-shot law student when he went into business as a lobbyist at the tender age of 24, and immediately started wheeling and dealing with one of his Liberal buddies, Dave Basi.
Bornmann admitted paying thousands of dollars in bribes to Basi, then a powerful government insider, in return for secrets on the B.C. Rail privatization deal. He says he was living a high-rolling, high-octane lifestyle as a Liberal “power broker” when his life became a “nightmare” on Dec. 23, 2003 – the day the cops raided the legislature, and Bornmann’s office.
Bornmann immediately hired one of the most expensive criminal defence lawyers in B.C., who negotiated an extraordinary deal with the Crown. In return for agreeing to be a star witness at the B.C. Rail trial, the Crown agreed not to charge Bornmann with bribery and breach of trust.
But Bornmann never did testify at the trial, which came to a shocking end last October, when Basi and co-accused Bobby Virk entered surprise guilty pleas and were sentenced to house arrest while their government-funded lawyers walked away with $6-million of taxpayers’ money.
But Basi’s and Virk’s lawyers aren’t the only ones laughing all the way to bank. Now Bornmann has been approved to practice law in Ontario, after narrowly passing a “good character” hearing.
But it was a close decision – a 2-1 vote by the review panel – and the dissenting panelist doesn’t think Bornmann is changed or sorry at all.
Panel member Andrew Oliver concluded Bornmann’s expressions of shame and remorse “are clearly self-serving and constitute an ex post-facto rationalization of reprehensible behaviour.”
Oliver didn’t buy Bornmann’s explanation that he turned state’s evidence because he wanted to do the right thing.
“The reality is that he had been caught in his illegal schemes, and that the only way of saving his own skin was to throw his soon-to-be-former friends under the proverbial bus,” Oliver wrote in a scathing dissenting opinion.
Oliver saw a pattern: Bornmann only came clean when he got caught.
“The parallels with the decision to become a witness for the Crown, after being caught out in the bribery scandal, are striking,” Oliver wrote, noting it was all “indicative of an inability to truly be honest about the odiousness of his past conduct.”
Bornmann told the panel he was sickened and ashamed by his conduct, was sorry for the damage done to family and friends, and that his work at the community law clinic had changed his life.
But Oliver zeroed in on the testimony of Colwood city councillor Ernie Robertson, who said he met Bornmann at a Liberal “martini party” in 2005 – while the B.C. Rail scandal was raging – and was shocked Bornmann seemed “non-chalant” about it all and “doing very well financially and professionally, notwithstanding the scandal.”
Robertson said Bornmann bragged he was a millionaire, had a “ruthless and unscrupulous” reputation, and that the pair joked about Bornmann’s notorious nickname: Spiderman.
The panel heard Bornmann got the moniker from a rumoured story that he once broke through the ceiling of Liberal party headquarters to get a party membership list. At the time, Bornmann was working for Paul Martin’s federal leadership bid. Bornmann insisted he did nothing illegal in the incident, and the panel didn’t dig any further into it.
But Oliver said everything he heard about his role in the B.C. Rail scandal left him convinced Bornmann should not be a lawyer.
“It is difficult to calculate the full financial, social and political cost of Bornmann’s ongoing scheme of bribery of public officials and breach of public trust,” Oliver wrote. “Indeed, in the absence of a public inquiry into the B.C. Rail scandal, the full extent of these costs may never be known.”
Don’t expect Premier Christy Clark to ever call such an inquiry. She is another of Bornmann’s former friends, and has shown no willingness to ever pry the lid off the stinking B.C. Rail barrel.
Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/Column+Rail+stinker+follows+Bornmann+Ontario/5351412/story.html#ixzz1WwxcrBvt
Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/Column+Rail+stinker+follows+Bornmann+Ontario/5351412/story.html#ixzz1WwwJKjFY
In BC, all corrupt politicians need is, a corrupt court, corrupt judges, corrupt police, brain dead witnesses and at times, they only need a special prosecutor to get them off.
The BC Liberal media propaganda machine, also gives, wonderful support for evil politicians and the elite.
Un F ing real. An OFFICER OF THE COURT. A "Made Man." It just doesnt get anymore perverse than this ... well, he could run for election and become an MP, that would top it. Canadians are so stupid. We get what we deserve!
No bluddy wunder no one has any confidence in the Courts, the Justice System, Judges, Police, Politicians, etc. There is NO JUSTICE! The system is ALL corrupt.
And now Campbell as the High COmmisioner to the UK??
Why? for getting the HST so miserably fixed? Campbell is a goof; he screwed up something so simple.
Just shows you the class of charaters we have running the show/screwing things up so badly in the processs. Its down right embarrassing.
Harper was duped to promote Campbell. I would recind his commission if I were him.
Canada appears no better than a Banana Republic.
... thank you for tuning in to ... CKDA!
The times colonist bunch reminds me of pot growing/smoking and their judgment clouded.
We need a real objective press. We dont have that and havent for many yrs now.
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